Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The importance of faithfulness, monogamy and institution of Marriage.

We know that animals are not monogamous, it is the urge to procreate that brings the male and female of any species together, then they carry on with their life and they have different spouses the next time when they procreate. Its only humans that have this institution of marriage and being faithful to one person. I and my friend were listening to Bhagavad Gita discourses by Sri Chaganti koteshwara rao and thinking about answers to this question. After discussing about it for some time these are the conclusions we came to.

1) Historically, if every person was allowed to have as many wives as possible, then he might use his power to take every women as his wife and thus deprive others of not having the opportunity to procreate. Even it looks far fetched, atleast we can easily assume that few strong men can just have all the women in their village at one place and could easily stop others from reaching them. Hence some intelligent fellow might have decided that it is in their best interest to give the first option to choose their wife and then ask the person to be with her only so that everyone can have a chance.

2) The second reason which we thought is that unlike other animals, a human child is very much dependent on the parent for few years and for some time even the mother of the child might not be in a position to fend for themselves and hence the father might have to stay with them to provide the required food and protection. If there was no institution of marriage and monogamy and there was unrestricted sex, then due to the long gestation period and cluelessness of who might be the father for the child, no male might like to fend for the women. Hence some man might have ruled the people about the institution of monogamy and marriage, which assign the duty of fending for the wife and the family on the head of the family. I know this argument would fall flat if we take the love the spouses have into account where there is no question of deserting. But when the mating is unrestricted, then where is the question of love?

It is hence a rule made by the society for its own good and is not mandated by nature. Hence it is with the will of people who are in a marriage that they are faithful. Some argue that what is the problem if people who are not spouses mate with mutual consent. This question seems right but suppose a wife gets involved with some others husband. Her husband gets to know of this and feels hurt and he might quarrel with her, get out of the institution of marriage or commit adultery himself. Hence it is not right. Another question might be, what if both the couples have consenting sex. Even then, if a person is used to doing such things, then surely he is likely to disturb good people and then cause the whole thing to crumble. Then there is emotional attachment to people with whom they mate, which might become problematic with the current marriage. Hence faithfulness, committment and monogamy are important for a good marriage and hence for the good of the whole society which is what the shastras preach as rules.

May be the dependency might have been the main aspect which helped people stay put in a marriage in the initial stages, though love takes over in the later stages. These days, both guys and girls being earning and independent, just come together in attraction and after it fizzles out, they find themselves incompatible and come out of the relationship. There is nothing wrong from coming out of a abusive relationship, but just because they have the independence, it is wrong to commit adultery, have a unrestricted life and come out of marriage. Thus it is imperative that every person has to be faithful and committed to his or her partner.

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